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London attractions for small children

I have been to London many times but not with a 3 and 6 year old, we will have a couple of days there and we would like to find something cool for the kids to do. We already have the London Eye and the Changing of the Guard at Whitehall slated and possible the London Zoo. Any other things that I might be missing? Am thinking Transport Museum?

Posted by
333 posts

Darren have you been on the London Eye before? Although lots of people do take their kids on it, I can't see that it would be any fun for kids under 8 (generally speaking). When I rode, we had a couple of little ones in our car and they spent most of their time running around the crowded car and pestering other people as they tried to entertain themselves in that little space for half an hour. So unless you, the parents want to ride the eye, there are more child friendly things to do in London. Just around the corner from the Eye is Jubilee Gardens which has a wonderful playground for children. There are characters in costumes on the walk next to the Thames (near the Eye), a merry-go-round, vendors, etc. There are also carnival rides there.

Just my two cents! Have a great trip!

Posted by
3992 posts

Take (and read) a Madeleine in London book with you and visit some of the places where Madeleine and Pepito find adventure in London.

Posted by
359 posts

London is a great city for kids. The Natural History Museum, science museum, and playing in Hyde Park are great choices! Look up other activities in Hyde Park. They might like a boat cruise too.

Posted by
8635 posts

I was in London when I was seven, and I suppose we went to all those places, but all I remember being interesting was the ice cream with railroad trading cards.

Posted by
214 posts

Thanks everyone, great ideas ! Def. gonna check out the Jubilee gardens.

Posted by
3941 posts

I'm just copy/pasting a reply I just did for a question about what a 12 year boy might like...

Does he like boats? Hubby and I (sans children) went on the Golden Hinde (near the Tower Bridge) and it was quite hands on (well, for the 5-6 kids in the group - they seemed to thoroughly enjoy it)...and boys seem to like gross stuff, so hearing about the living conditions on board the ship could be just gross enough for pre-teen boys!

Posted by
338 posts

I was in London two years ago with my daughters (ages 5 and 7 at the time). Here are some things that they liked in no particular order. I've thinned this list down to those that should still work for a 3-year-old.

Princess Diana Memorial Playground. This is a large fenced in playground on the northwest corner of Hyde Park (near Kensington Palace).

Windsor Castle. It is very easy to get to and from Windsor. It was a great place to see a changing of the guards ceremony. The rooms that are open are very interesting. My girls liked the doll house. The staff seemed attuned to children, espcially at St. George's chapel.

Covent Garden/London Transportation Museum/Theater. Covent Garden has some great performers that my kids liked. The London Transportation Museum (right next to Covent Garden) has a neat collection of old buses and subways that kids can climb on. As a plus it has clean bathrooms and your ticket is good for a year. There are plenty of theaters nearby. We saw the Lion King as an afternoon show and my kids really enjoyed it.

The museums in South Kensington. The V&A has a lot of interactive kiosks that my kids liked. The natural history museum has dinosaurs including an animatronic T-Rex. The science museum has some nice interactive displays and staff engagement/learning stations.

Tower of London. A castle, crown jewels, ravens, live action actors in period costumes, beefeaters. This was a favorite.

London Eye. You already have this on your list. It provides great views of the city.

Have a great trip.

Posted by
8870 posts

Definitely the Princess Diana Playground. See if Lion King tickets are available now at the Half Price booth in Leicester Square. Those tickets are often for seats in the first few rows of the theatre and in the stalls. Those would be stellar seats for all of you and the children would be mesmerized by the opening of the show with the parade of animals through the audience. I'm not a child and I was. "Simba!" Might also consider a farm tour here (need a reservation and there is a fee) or simply go there and explore without the farm tour. Free of charge.
There are also puppet shows at The Little Angel theatre as well on the Michael Pallin sponsored in Little Venice. Have fun!!!

Posted by
332 posts

The Transport Museum is great, it was a favorite of my kids. Your kids would enjoy London Zoo, but it really is an inferior, expensive zoo. Visit a local zoo instead. I found the changing of the guard at Horse Guards Parade dull. I did like seeing them mounted and at guard on Whitehall, however.

Taking the tube might have been what my kids enjoyed most. I regret that I did not take my children to Coram's Fields. Don't know much about the place, but I like their sign, "No adults unless accompanied by a child".